2020 Session Update: Week 2

Governor Hogan’s FY21 Budget

Last week, Governor Hogan submitted his FY21 Budget Proposal, which he dubbed his “Accountability Budget”  to the General Assembly. This three-volume proposal will start with the Senate and then make its way to the House during the second part of the Legislative Session where I’ll be working on it with colleagues on the Appropriations Committee. At first review, this is a strong budget that has no tax increases and holds spending growth. There are several other earmarks for District 1C that are very encouraging. 

Governor Hogan is also proposing $1 billion in tax relief for 230,000 Maryland Retirees, full exemption of retirement income for public safety and law enforcement personnel from Maryland taxes, and full exemption of Maryland taxes on income for retired and active duty military personnel. Other priorities include education, tackling crime, and the environment. 

Herald Mail: Governor Hogan’s Budget is Out… Now What
Herald Mail: Lawmakers mull Hogan’s $47.9 billion budget proposal

House Republican Caucus Crime Package

Combating violent crime, especially in Baltimore City, was front and center last week, and I was proud to join my Republican colleagues in the House in support of a legislative package that would address several specific areas of concern. The package includes: 

Stopping Dangerous and Violent Offenders Act of 2020
This bill requires that those who are convicted of violent crimes serve at least 90 percent of their sentance before they are eligible for parole.

Protecting Marylanders from Violent Crime Act of 2020
This bill requires state and local correctional facilities to comply with ICE detainers for those convicted of violent crimes, terrorism and participation in criminal street gangs.

Gun Theft a Felony Act of 2020
This bill would make the theft of a fiream a felony with a minimum sentence of two years and a maximum sentence of five years for the first offense. A second or subsequent conviction carries a sentence of at least 5 years with a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Truth in Plea Deals Act of 2020
The Maryland Constitution requires that victims be notified of a plea agreement. The “Victim Empowerment in Plea Deals Act of 2020” goes a step further and provides an opportunity for victims or their representatives to certify that they have been notified of the plea agreement and, should they so choose, gives them an opportunity to have their opinion and feedback on the plea agreement entered into the court record.

Cameras in the Courtroom Act of 2020
The Cameras in the Courtroom Act of 2020 allows media outlets to film the sentencing portion of a criminal trial. The bill excludes juvenile cases and requires the media to request permission from the court to film the proceedings. Victims have the right to opt out of being on camera. The judge must consider the privacy and safety of jurors and victims when determining whether to allow the request and must deny the request to film if requested by the victim.

Herald Mail: GOP legislators present crime plan
WBAL TV: House GOP proposes crime bills to address plea deals, sentencing
Baltimore Sun: Maryland Republicans prioritize crime bills, promising to introduce 6 focusing on guns, violent offenders

Economic Stability Study Group Interim Report

The Economic Stability Study Group was hard at work during the interim traveling the state and participating in several listening sessions (including one in Western Maryland) to hear directly from constituents and service providers on the best ways to strengthen Maryland’s middle class. The Two-Generation, or 2Gen approach, focuses on providing services and resources to an entire family so that they can gain the skills they need to thrive. 

Just before the start of the 2020 Legislative Session, the Study Group submitted its Interim Report to House Speaker Adrienne Jones. As Co-Chair of the Study Group, I am proud of the work we have done so far and look forward to working with the Study Group to sponsor legislation to address the needs and concerns we heard directly from those on the front lines. 

Read the Interim Report Here.

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